As a child I loved to sing jingles—you know, those little ditty songs from commercials. I did performances for my family all the time with one of my favorites being, “Use Ajax, bum bum, the blue dot cleanser, bum bubububum, it gets the dirt and lets things shine bubububububum.” Perfume commercials from the 70s were replete with jingles too. Cachet was the first perfume my mom gave me and boy do these jingles have staying power. You might even say that, “Windsong stays on my, Windsong stays on my mind.” (OK, that’s not Cachet but I don’t think its ad had a tune).
In fact that is one of the problems or perhaps beauties of jingles—depending on your perspective. They are so memorable that they come to me all the time—during the day, in my sleep and of course when I am watching TV and see a childhood brand that still advertises. I can’t help but break out into song. Just the other day, Andy broke out into “Cheeree O-Ee-Oh’s, Toastee O-Ee-Oh’s” when a box of Cheerios appeared on TV—though that is a more recent ad.
“We work hard, so you don’t haaave toooo (as the Scrubbing Bubbles fade into the distance as they go down the drain).” I really don’t have to work hard to dredge up these memories. In general memories associated with tunes are recalled more easily then words alone. The music serves as additional hooks to your memory. Therefore it isn’t surprising that jingles are used in advertising and that I remember them so well. But what is kind of cool to me is how they literally pop out of my mouth without warning and how much pleasure I get from singing them. They put me back into my child-like state of silliness. And who couldn’t use a little silliness in their life?
“Ready when you are and even when your not, it’s Betty Crocker ready-to-spread frost—ting. Smoooth and spreadable and what’s so incredible, its ready when you are and when you’re not.” So true, whether I am ready or not, these ditties flow from my lips. And lest you think I Googled the wording of these songs, think again. I am reciting these completely from memory. Sure I was tempted to check on the actual wording but decided not to. This is all pouring out of me in its pure memory state (so I suppose some of the words aren’t exact matches for the original advertisement).
“A sprinkle a day helps keep odor away, a sprinkle a day helps keep odor away. Have you had your sprinkle today?” Shower to Shower is a brand that I still have in my medicine chest and I sing that tune every time I pick up the bottle. And anytime I am cooking bacon—well—out spews the soulful blues tune, “I bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never ever let you forget you’re a man, ’cause I’m a woman, Enjoli.”
And speaking of cooking, “Shake and Bake, and wee heelped!” That isn’t a song, but I always say it with a very thick southern drawl, just like the commercial from my childhood. My brother and I were particular fans of that one and we encouraged mom to buy Shake and Bake because of the jingle (yes, advertising works). “Kentucky Fried Chicken, Kentucky Fried Chicken”. No additional lyrics, just a tune to accompany those words though my brother and I changed the words to something gross that I won’t mention here ☺.
“People who don’t need it drink it, folks not on a diet try it. Everybody likes it, Diet Rite Cola, everybody likes it, Diet Rite Cola, everybody likes it and you know why, ’cause it tastes so good, Diet Rite Cola!” I loved to sing that song with my childhood friend Dawn. In the ad there are different voices for each stanza so Dawn and I would go up or down in our voice to extremes.
Speaking of Dawn reminds me of Madge of Palmolive fame for soaking in dishwashing liquid—don’t worry it’s mild. “Chock Full of Nuts is a heavenly coffee, heavenly coffee, heavenly coffee, Chock Full of Nuts is a heavenly coffee, better tasting coffee, money can’t buy.” You really can’t buy the kind of fun I experience from just singing jingles.
What commercial jingles from your childhood do you remember? Please share with us!